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Solemn Searching: Pokemon Search Post Rotation

Hey there Pokemon Trainers! In the current meta it's incredibly easy to search out the Pokemon you need. Ultra Ball, Timer Ball, Great Ball, Nest Ball, heck even Poke Ball are options to grab whatever Pokemon you desire and many decks have several copies of many of them. Come August 15th however, every single one of those cards are lost to the rotation. This leaves players in quite a predicament. How will they search out the Pokemon they need without these staples? There are still some potential options and we've gone out to hunt them all down! 


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The three main Pokemon we thought had the most potential for Pokemon searching all came from Celestial Storm. Curious coincidence right? Let's look at them from the least effective to most. Luvdisc has to use an attack to search for Pokemon and it also depends on how many Pokemon the opponent has. Even Game could be amazing if the opponent has a full bench, and it takes a colorless energy so it can fit into any deck, but it's still too specific to really use.

Bulbasaur DET 1

Dunsparce however has more potential. Strike and Run also takes a colorless energy which means it can fit into any deck, and in exchange for your attack for the turn you can pull out three basic Pokemon and get them onto the bench. To make this even nicer, you can then put out whichever other Pokemon out front you may like! It's not perfect by any means, but it worth noting. 

Finally we have Magcargo which is by far the best choice thanks to its ability Smooth OverOnce during your turn (before your attack), you may search your deck for a card, shuffle your deck, then put that card on top of it. As long as you have draw power of any kind, Magcargo can get you any Pokemon you want with its ability. It's already a popular enough card as it can search out anything you may need as well. Magcargo may see even more use in decks that lack other options for Pokemon search. 

Let it not be said that we are not thorough however! We have compiled every other Pokemon that can potentially search out other Pokemon. Most are through attacks though some require very specific effects. Here's out massive list: Scatterbug FLI 5, Shaymin UPR 15, Shiinotic UPR 93, Gible FLI 60, Gabite FLI 61. Dedenne FLI 88, Scyther CES 4, Tropius CES 21, Alolan Rattata CES 84, Sandalit DRM 13, Hoppip LOT 11, Treeko LOT 20, Silcoon LOT 25, Cascoon LOT 27, Combee LOT 31, Alolan Diglett LOT 122, Emolga TEU 46, Nidoran TEU 54, Poochyeena TEU 86Kangaskhan TEU 128, and Bulbasaur DET 1.

Solid Supporters

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There are many potential Supporter Cards that can help pull out Pokemon that survived the rotation! While not as good as items as they take up your one supporter per turn, they shouldn't be ignored. Certain decks can make great use of Professor Elm's Lecture. As long as you use Basic Pokemon (or any Pokemon depending) that have 60 HP or less it can be a fast way to get everything you need. If your Pokemon have higher HP Pokemon Fan Club can also do the trick but grabs one less Pokemon for its greater flexibility. 

There are other potential trainer cards that work as well but are a bit more specific. Crasher Wake requires two water energy to be discarded but can find any Pokemon, or any card for that matter! Jasmine makes it easy to search out Metal Pokemon and can fill up your entire bench in one go if you're lucky on your first turn. Lance Prism Star requires a Pokemon be knocked out first, but then any Dragon Pokemon, even Stage 2, can instantly be out and ready to be used. Finally, Steven's Resolve can get you any three Pokemon you could ever want as long as you don't mind your turn immediately ending.

Fossils & Ultra Beasts

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While only a stadium, Ultra Space provides consistent Pokemon search power for decks that rely on Ultra Beasts. It also can't be ignored that with less cards for searching out other kinds of Pokemon, those that need Unidentified Fossil could really keep some serious search power. Fossil Excavation Map isn't the only possibility either, Volkner, Order Pad, and even Alolan Ninetales-GX could all grab them. Will this mean a rise in fossil-related decks? It's not too likely, but it's not impossible!

Let's Get Catching!

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While we mentioned most cards related to a ball in any way have been lost (poor Apricorn Maker) there are still a few options left on the table. Grass decks will have a significant advantage in the post rotation metagame with Net Ball as an option. It can also grab energy if needed which gives it some wonderful flexibility. Beast Ball isn't the worst card ever, but we already showed off Ultra Space on its own for a good reason. This is so specific having to search through prize cards (where there may not be a Pokemon at all) so it's not as helpful.

Friend Ball however does have potential. It's nowhere near as strong as the cards that are being lost, but if fire decks rise as strong as expected on the horizon this could be used in ditto games to try and build faster. The same could happen for decks that use Zapdos and Pikachu & Zekrom-GX. Fighting against another Lightning deck? Take that advantage! We could say the same thing for Malamar decks but they have a stronger tool yet.

Mysterious Treasure

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Any decks using Psychic and Dragon type Pokemon still have a phenomenal tool for searching in Mysterious Treasure. Like Net Ball it does give a significant advantage to these decks in the future. With a single discard being the only thing required, it's a small price to pay to grab just about anything you need. 

Hit The PokeMart

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There are still two other items left that while not as powerful as what we are losing still have serious potential. PokeNav can grab any Pokemon and even an Energy if needed! The true problem is that it's only from the top 3 cards of the deck. Of course you could combine this with Magcargo from earlier to still keep Pokemon coming strong. It's not perfect, but some decks use it now so it shouldn't be entirely ignored. 

Pokemon Communication is now likely the strongest Pokemon search card that will remain in the format. Searching for any Pokemon you could want just has too much potential to ignore, and many decks already are using it. Unlike the various ball cards, however, there already has to be a Pokemon in your hand to use it. It does give it some limits but still, it's worth having four of these ready in your collection for when rotation hits.

We hope this helped you start planning out decks for yourself post rotation! Now we want to hear what you think. Did we miss any cards to search out Pokemon that are important? Think some of these cards or better or worse than we suggested? Tell us in the comments below or let me know directly on twitter @LiteralGrill. Until next time, stay lit trainers!

Linnea 'LiteralGrill' Capps

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